Botticelli is not an artist ๐ŸŽจ I have spent much time with at all, so I went along to the V & Aย ๐Ÿคto discover some things about him in the Botticelli Reimaginedย exhibition. ย The museum is open until 10pm on Friday, well worth knowing โŒš๏ธ.

I initially had not realised that this really was Botticelli reimagined by everyone and anyone, and not just endless Madonna and childs ๐Ÿ‘ผ๐Ÿ‘ธ๐Ÿ‘ถ. ย There are 3 sections – they go backwards and start you with the most recent reimaginings – Andy Warhol etc ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š, then the pre-Raphaelites ๐Ÿ‘ฉ, lots of Rossettti and then it’s all about Botticelli (there quiet a few Madonnas with multiple children. ๐Ÿ‘ธ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿ‘ถ)

Sandra Botticelli (1445 – 1510) was a Florentine painter ๐ŸŽจand draughtsman and one of the most esteemed in artists at that time, he spent most of his life working for the Medici family ๐Ÿ‘‘ and their acquaintances. ย He painted a vast number of paintings you are likely to recognise but might not know are his – the most well known being ‘The Birth of Venus’ย ๐Ÿฌand ‘Primavera‘ ๐ŸŒธ.

The exhibition is fun – the first image your are confronted with is Sean Connery, as James Bond ๐Ÿ”ซ gazing at Honey Ryder ๐Ÿ‘™ in Dr No as she emerges form the sea ๐ŸŠ. ย There people who have used the ‘Primavera’ ๐ŸŒธand ‘Birth of Venus’ ๐Ÿฌ in their work – there is a suit by Dolce and Gabbana ๐Ÿ‘˜ made up of collage images form the ‘Birth of Venus’ ๐Ÿฌ. ย There are some truly bizarre pictures ๐Ÿ—พ, and some where you have to really stretch your imagination to connect the image in front of you to Botticelli. ย They have lumped together images directly inspired by Botticelli (she’s naked and standing in a shell), to images that have later been attributed to have been inspired by him, (she’s almost naked and standing on a beach).

I enjoyed the second section, the pre-raphaelites – I like John Ruskin’s Zipporah, she is rather whimsical ๐Ÿ‘ฉ, but I didn’t altogether connect them with Botticelli, although the paintings were certainly more tasteful that the images in the first section.

And then you reach Botticelli. ย There are many, and they are nicely displayed, and you do get a good sense of him as a artist ๐ŸŽจ. ย My favourite part was the discovery that he had made drawings for Dante’s Inferno ๐Ÿ”ฅ- there are 5 ink drawings โœ’๏ธ depicting different parts of the journey – I am very pleased to have seen these. ย There is even an original recording playing of a slightly glum man reading the Inferno in Italian ๐ŸŽถ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น.

I think it would have been better if we had been given a bit more of aย lowdown on Botticelli at the very beginning of the exhibition. ย They are pre-supposing you are very familiar with ‘The Birth of Venus’ ๐Ÿฌand with the ‘Primavera’ ๐ŸŒธand in many ways the exhibition could have been better connected thematically. ย The first two sections were interesting in themselves, but didn’t necessarily help me in my quest to get to know Botticelli as an artist any better.

Alice xxx

Andy Warhol’s Birth of Venus